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Why The Four Gospels?

Discussion in 'Christian Scriptures' started by sevenatenine, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. sevenatenine

    sevenatenine Junior Member

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    Why are the Gospel's we revere and believe to be true and special, the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Why do we not accept the other ones such as The Gospel according to Peter and Judas.
     
  2. SecretOfFatima

    SecretOfFatima Our Lady of Fatima: Song of Solomon 6:10 (NIV)

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    without going into details, because it does not add up with the teachings of the apostolic church which is the Pillar and Ground of Truth (1 Timothy 3:15).
     
  3. TR1

    TR1 New Member

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    I think you ask a most intriguing question. Indeed it is due to the fact that they do not add up to the accounts written in the four accepted and apostolic churches. I think this may indeed be a mistake. Since mostly the work of the gospel, it can be argued is the work of, or influenced by paul, simply owing to historical timing and content, or the statements of eyewitnesses, it seems as though the church has kept it to a minimum since these newly found scriptures differ massively.

    what i find interesting is that the scriptures that are new and rejected all say similar things to othr common beliefs or paint a new picture completely, some examples being the gospel of judus and mary magadaline. Of course, the most significant one being the gospel of barnabus, which was part of the bible for some time before it was removed, i wonder why if others had accepted it previously. theres a thought...

    i suppose one would need to research the other gospels and indeed other texts like the DSS or apocolyse of peter for example and see what they think. is there a reason why the church has censored these or are they indeed covering something up as many have suggested. Historical dating is usually available for most books, though you may wish to check your sources as some censorship historical dating does exist.

    peace be with you in your quest.. who knows what you will find! for me, i accept these texts to be definate words of those with jesus... even if the rest of us do not... and i implement them... some more then others, but i definatly believe in them
     
  4. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    Well, firstly, for the most part the other "Gospels" are not gospels at all - i.e. they don't contain a proclamation of a new Lord coming to the throne, but are collections of sayings and or miracle stories. Without the resurrection (or something equivalent) it's not a gospel.

    Secondly, for the most part they are second century creations or later, not part of the earliest witness.

    Thirdly, in many cases, it's obvious when one reads them what they are. Some are downright silly, many are obviously gnostic,...
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  5. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    sevenatenine,
    Why not also the Gospel of Thomas (ca. AD 40-150)? If you read the Gospel of Thomas and compare it with each of the 4 Gospels in the NT, you will notice the marked difference in content. I'd suggest a read of Nicholas Perrin's, Thomas, the Other Gospel (SPCK, London, 2007). Perrin concludes his book with this comment:
    This Gospel of Thomas is a different Gospel, "a Christianized self-help philosophy" (Perrin 2007, p. 139).

    As for the Gospel of Peter [GP]. please read this assessment: Quarles, C. L. 2006, 'The Gospel of Peter: Does it contain a precanonical resurrection narrative?' in The Resurrection of Jesus: John Dominic Crossan and N. T. Wright in Dialogue, ed. R. B. Stewart, Fortress Press, Minneapolis, pp. 106-120. Here are a few grabs from Quarles' critique of GP:
    Of the Gospel of Judas, the National Geographic reported:
    Here is another assessment of the "other gospels" in an article on "the historical reliability of the Gospels" by James Arlandson:
    So there are scholarly and practical reasons why the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Peter, and the Gospel of Judas are not chosen over the four NT Gospels. They are understood to be Gnostic inventions, reinterpreting material from the NT Gospels.

    Sincerely, Spencer
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  6. marlowe007

    marlowe007 Veteran

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    Ireneaus explained why there had to be exactly four Gospels. In his words (well, his words in English translation), "It is not possible that the Gospels can be either more or fewer in number than they are." How come? Easy: there are four winds, aren't there? And four winds equals four Gospels. That's obvious. But there's more. The world is divided into four parts, there are four beasts around the heavenly throne (Revelation 4), and it's fitting for the Church to have four pillars. (Adv. Haer. 3.11.8.) If for some reason that doesn't satisfy you, kindly recall that Irenaeus is a saint.
     
  7. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    sevenatenine,
    On another website, “The New Testament Canon, Part 3,” I came across this useful summary of why we have four and only four Gospels in the NT:
    Sincerely, Spencer
     
  8. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    With all due respect to Irenaeus, I don't think many people find that particular argument of his convincing any more.
     
  9. OzSpen

    OzSpen Regular Member

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    ebia,
    I agree. Allegorical interpretation has done much to damage accurate exegesis of the Scriptures. Irenaeus' statement provides no insight for me.

    Research indicates that the Gospels other than the four in the NT have a Gnostic influence and are later than the NT Gospels.
     
  10. Anglian

    Anglian let us love one another, for love is of God

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    The early Church has always known of only four Gospels, and there never was a time when any of the so-called 'other' gospels were accepted. That supposedly by St. Thomas is clearly gnostic in its tendencies.

    From the early Church historian Eusebius we know that an very early commentator, Piapas, whose works have disappeared, wrote that St. Mark was the companion of St. Peter and that his Gospel represented the preaching of that Saint. St. Luke was the companion of St. Paul, and his Gospel and Acts represent much of St. Paul's teaching. St. John's Gospel, which is usually held to be the latest of them to be composed, has always been recognised to be more 'theological' in form.

    Modern scholarship has suggested the existence of another 'source', Q, which is in effect a 'saying source' from which both St. Luke and St. Matthew quote, but few, even among those who argue for the existence of such a source, have suggested it was a 'gospel'.

    Why four? Because that is all that the early Church ever received.

    peace,

    Anglian
     
  11. lighthouse_hope

    lighthouse_hope Senior Member

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    Dear Anglian,

    I think that the real question is why 4 and not 1?
     
  12. Anglian

    Anglian let us love one another, for love is of God

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    Dear lighthouse_hope,

    Well, the Syriac Orthodox Church had the Diatessarion which was, indeed, a harmony of the four Gospels, and this was popular in the East up to about the fifth century. It is a sign of how attached the early Christians were to the four Gospels they inherited that this idea of a 'harmony' did not catch on.

    peace,

    Anglian
     
  13. gideon army

    gideon army Am the Righteousness to GOD IN Christ by Faith

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    If you check with any Rabbinical Scholars or Rabbi themselves then you'll note that in the Temple, there's the Outer Court, Inner Court & Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant sits. The four corners hangs Picture of a Lion/ another of a Man/ Another of a OX & Lastly the Eagle.

    Gospel of Matthew Protrays Christ as the Lion of Judea & it was written Specifically to the Jews & it was also fulfilling the Promised that the Seed from king david will come from hence the Geneology goes all the way back to king david

    Gospel of Mark Protrays Christ as the Man-God perfect Man to come as a Perfect Man to Redeem Men hence you'll find Christ Geneology gtoes all the way back to Adam

    Gospel of Luke Protrays Christ as the Servant- Picture of the OX a Labouring Servant where it's the only Gospel with 'Immediately this & Immediately that & so forth' hence there's No Geneology where Nobody would ask the Servant His Pedigree

    Gospel of John Protrays Christ as GOD hence the Picture of an Eagle Soaring High Above & you'll also not Find any Geneology as GOD is the Creator & not the created :thumbsup:

    Shalom Shalom Shalom
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  14. gideon army

    gideon army Am the Righteousness to GOD IN Christ by Faith

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    Hi there hadi_al_islam,

    Wonder what's you're intention of stating your 'holy' book? Have a few questions for you.

    Believe Muslim believe in Moses? Ok point taken as ALL Muslims around the world believe in Moses ;) Let's see what Moses wrote under the Holy Spirit :-

    Deu 18:22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that [is] the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

    Ok, since you've quoted the qur'an then believe you're a GOD fearing faithful Muslim skilled in the word of god?

    Please cite events that's recorded in History be it ancient or recent that was recorded in your qur'an that has come to pass ;)

    Maybe you'll like to know that the Bible (Jewish/ Hebrew Torah- Bible OLD Testament) coupled with the New Testament (Greek) are approx 60-70% Prophecies which 80% of what's predicted have come to PASS

    If still not convinced, then believe all Muslims around the World would say that the Jews are 'Special' for being the forefront of Inventions/ Bankers/ Businessmen & Much more right? Please allow me to show you why:-

    Gen 27:28 Therefore may God give you Of the dew of heaven, Of the fatness of the earth, And plenty of grain and wine.

    Gen 27:29 Let peoples serve you, And nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren, And let your mother's sons bow down to you. Cursed [be] everyone who curses you, And blessed [be] those who bless you!"

    Now, hope you wonder NO MORE my friend as above was Isaac Blessing Jacob For am giving you SCRIPTURAL PROOF from the ETERNAL Living Word of CHRIST's:p Btw above it's Isaac Blessing to Esau-Father to the Arabs :amen:

    Gen 27:39 Then Isaac his father answered and said to him: "Behold, your dwelling shall be of the fatness of the earth, And of the dew of heaven from above.

    Gen 27:40 By your sword you shall live, And you shall serve your brother; And it shall come to pass, when you become restless, That you shall break his yoke from your neck."

    Small wonder why the Arabs are Filled up their behind with OIL & Gas when it's PROPHECIZED by Christ approx 4000 years ago & better part, It also shows why the Arabs are always so Angry with their Hebrew Brothers & always Fighting but always LOOSING :)

    Above quoted isn't the tip if the Iceberg yes, just to tease you :clap:

    There's Much More to add & do pose questions which I'lll try level best to answer from the BIBLE & NOT some OLD Behind hot smelly air:priest: writings but will part with this:-

    Allah in the Arabic Vernacular Launguage is Singular but please contrast with the following :-

    Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

    In the Original Hebrew for GOD which it was written is 'elohiym & translated to(plural) rulers, judges & divine ones

    Just for you hadi_al_islam, god Singular in the Hebrew is 'elowahh & it's translated to false god
     
  15. Spirit Compass

    Spirit Compass Surfer on the Lucid Sea

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    We have four gospels only because other writings were rejected at the Nicene Council. The Spirit of El Elyon continues to create the purpose of El Elyon in spite of the actions of humans.

    Many Christians know that other writings have merit alongside the four pericopes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  16. Anglian

    Anglian let us love one another, for love is of God

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    If you are correct, then just show where, in the proceedings of Nicaea it states this? You are buying into a myth which has no historical basis. If it was as you say, then why was it necessary for St. Athanasius to write his festal letter of AD 367 stating what he thought the canon was? And why, in the writings of Eusebius, after Nicaea, is there still uncertainty?

    Goodness knows who El Elyon might be, but the history needs a little more study.

    peace,

    Anglian
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  17. wayseer

    wayseer New Member

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    Canon means rule or authority. That rule was taken from particular texts which were not fixed until the Council(s) of Trent in the mid 16th century. But the Church had made authoritative decisions well before that and most certainly would have used some sort of 'canon' at Nicaea. There is a story that the Emperor Constantine got so fed up with the bishops that he threw the texts across the table - those that stayed on the table became canon. Good story and perhaps demonstrates the volatility of the situation.
     
  18. Anglian

    Anglian let us love one another, for love is of God

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    Dear Wayseeker,

    Isn't that a trifle Eurocentric? How do you think those of us belonging to Churches which knew nothing about Trent managed, or, indeed, had been managing for a thousand years?

    We know that local Councils later in the 4th century pronounced on the issue of the canon, so there really is no ground for thinking that Nicaea, which was called for another purpose, even discussed the matter.

    The anecdote you cite is not in Eusebius and suggests a degree of disrespect for Scripture which is not consistent with the mores of the time. The early Church took this matter with great seriousness, not least as some of the so-called gospels in circulation were gnostic.

    There is no evidence from the early Church that there were ever more than 4 Gospels regarded as authentic.

    peace,

    Anglian